Bridge set to open sometime this weekend; other news and notes

Mayor A.J. Holloway and Southern District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown, after reviewing progress on the Popp’s Ferry bridge this morning, believe that the bridge should be re-opening to traffic sometime Saturday evening.

“As pleased as we are with the progress, everyone is making sure that the bridge work continues to be done in a safe manner,” Holloway said. “The contractor has done an excellent job in meeting our schedule and doing quality work. And MDOT certainly moved things along by having an accelerated advertising schedule and ordering the materials before the contract was even awarded.

“Cooperation, teamwork and good weather have all come together on this project.”

Crews from Joe McGee Construction Co. of Lake, Miss., have worked 12-hour shifts since April 11 to replace two 90-foot sections of the bridge that were knocked out by a barge collision on March 20. The company has an April 28 deadline to open the bridge and faces a $75,000 per day bonus or penalty on the $2 million contract.

While the bridge was being repaired, the city re-paved and re-striped Popp’s Ferry Road south of the bridge to Pass Road, and city Public Works crews applied new striping on the bridge north of the span.

Holloway asked contractors to speed up a re-surfacing project on Pass Road to have that major artery fully open near Popp’s Ferry Road.

“Our contractor, Warren Paving, has done a great job on the re-surfacing work,” Holloway said. “Three of the five lanes on Pass Road will be re-paved when the bridge opens, and the good news is that all lanes will be open for traffic.”

Holloway said the city and MDOT have agreed that the bridge would be open to traffic as soon as the contractor and inspectors give the OK.

Said the mayor: “We’re certainly not going to delay the opening with any type of ceremony. We want to see motorists on that bridge again this weekend.”

Fresh photos: To see photos from the repair site this morning, click here.

News and notes

Clean-up: Individuals, businesses, and groups are asked to volunteer to clean selected areas or neighborhoods of the city on Saturday as part of the city’s participation in the Great American Clean-up campaign. To read more, click here.

Council meeting: The Biloxi City Council meets Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall. To see the agenda and available resolutions, click here.

Weekend preview: The Coliseum’s annual crawfish festival wraps up this weekend, and you’ll also find a wealth of activities along the Coast. For your weekend preview, click here.